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This just in…Jaffe, Madigan reappointed; Sambursky to SIU BOT

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

4:46 p.m. - Not two minutes after comments were closed for the weekend, the Governor’s Office announced the reappointment of Aaron Jaffe as chairman of the Gaming Board…

Judge Aaron Jaffe of Evanston, who has chaired the Illinois Gaming Board since 2005, has been reappointed to Chairman of the Board. Under Judge Jaffe’s leadership, the board has increased openness and transparency in the gaming industry, notably revoking the 10th casino gaming license in order to rebid the license through a fair and open process. He has consistently led efforts to hold entities that violate gaming regulations accountable. Judge Jaffe holds a J.D. from DePaul University.

The board’s vice-chair and former Rep. Michael Holewinski was also reappointed.

* Shirley Madigan, the Speaker’s wife, will also retain her role at the Arts Council…

Shirley Madigan of Chicago has served on the Illinois Arts Council since 1976 and has been Chairman for more than 20 years. Ms. Madigan actively represents the Council to arts organizations, individual artists, government officials, educators and the business and philanthropy communities. Ms. Madigan has a B.A. from Gonzaga University and a master’s degree in education from Loyola University.

* And the last open seat on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees has a new candidate…

Joel Sambursky of Carbondale is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and a president of Liberty Wealth Management, LLC. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Carbondale Community Arts and is a former president and executive director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Sambursky - Southern Illinois University’s quarterback from 2002-2005 - was inducted into the Saluki Hall of Fame in 2012 for having led the Salukis to three straight football conference championships and appearances at the NCAA National Playoffs. Mr. Sambursky holds a MBA and B.S. from Southern Illinois University.

That’s especially interesting given the fight between the Governor, SIU President Glenn Poshard, and a coalition from Metro-east that were frustrated by the lack of trustees with an SIUE background. So bad was that spat that Senate Democratic leadership helped knock down all of the Governor’s BOT appointments without a single “Yay” vote. As you know, that fight also lead to the ouster of board chairman Roger Herrin, a friend of Gov. Quinn. One has to wonder how that area’s legislators will feel about this Carbondale appointment.

* The Governor also acted on the Chicago State University BOT…

Chicago State University Board of Trustees:

Nikki Zollar of Chicago is the president and CEO of Triad Consulting Services, Inc. and also the president of SafeSpeed, LLC. Ms. Zollar is a former Director of the Illinois Department of Financial Regulation and holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from The John Hopkins University.

* Also…

Lottery Control Board:

Paul Schaefer (reappointment) of Edwardsville is a field director for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881 and holds a B.A. from the University of Evansville.

Pollution Control Board:

Deanna Glosser (reappointment) of Riverton is the former president of Environmental Planning Solutions, Inc. and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. Ms. Glosser holds a B.S. from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Prisoner Review Board:

Vonetta Rush of Swansea is a program coordinator for East St. Louis School District 189 and holds a M.A. from Lindenwood University a M.A. from Webster University, a M.P.A. and a B.S. from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville.

Gotta love the Friday evening news dump.

5:05 p.m. - COMMENTS HAVE BEEN RE-ACTIVATED FOR THE TIME BEING.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   10 Comments      


Reader Comments Closed for the Holiday Weekend

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

There are plenty of happenings scheduled for this weekend. A commenter pointed out that the Chicago Jazz Festival started yesterday. That goes on through Sunday in Millennium Park.

For the capital city dwellers, stop by Brewhaus on Sunday night. Local music legend Tom Irwin, a friend of the blog, will be playing his weekly set. Joining him this time will be the CapFax Intern Caucus’s very own Owen Irwin. Come on out and hear them Irwin boys play. (It’s not like you have to work on Monday ;)

Also, if you are in the 618: Kansas will be playing the grandstand show at the Du Quoin State Fair along with The Fabulous Thunderbirds Saturday night.

I received quite a few song suggestions for this week’s post. However just before he left you and I to keep the state afloat, Rich sent this video my direction. I’m not quite sure what they are saying, but they have a decent sound…



Possible translation:
Wishing everyone a fun and safe three-day weekend.
We’ll see you back here on Tuesday.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   Comments Off      


Question of the Day

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

Posted by Barton Lorimor

As subscribers already know, (Oh man, it feels good to say that again.) the master of the house is taking some time off over the next couple of weeks and has left the blog in the hands of his intern emeritus.

Blogging will be lighter than usual, but by no means non-existent. I hope you will keep checking in with us to get the latest information and read Oswego Willy’s most recent zinger. Rich is still receiving emails, though I doubt he will be replying as quickly as he would on a normal day. If the subject is more urgent, about the blog, or a potential news item, you can send an email to my personal account: barton.lorimor@gmail.com.

As many of you know, I am at the service of the state these days, which means I am limited to checking in and blogging during the lunch hour and before and after work. That said, I do remember how to make use of the comment section’s banishment hammer of death. Please don’t give me a reason to use it.

Question: What is Miller REALLY doing with his time off? I mean, seriously folks. Many of you have known him longer than me, so your predictions have more background than mine. Snark strongly encouraged. The best answers will be used later on.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   53 Comments      


Illinois’ debt burden

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

* From Reboot Illinois

Back in 1981, Illinois reported $164 million in debt service “interest” expense. By 2012, Illinois’ accumulating debt led to a reported $1.6 billion in interest expense — about 900% higher than in 1981, despite a 95% decline in general interest rates! To boot, Illinois has had a longstanding ‘balanced budget’ requirement in the state constitution, which theoretically constrained state borrowing.

In 1981, Illinois reported $8.4 billion in total liabilities. By 2012, that amount had risen to over $100 billion. And that is just the amount reported by the state under current government accounting standards. These standards have long allowed states to accumulate massive off-balance sheet liabilities for retirement programs for government employees. Truth in Accounting estimates these obligations totaled over $120 billion in Illinois as of fiscal year-end 2011 – an amount about equal to the state’s total reported liabilities.

$164 million in interest expenses in 1981 would be equal to $421 million in today’s dollars, and $8.4 billion in total liabilities in 1981 is equal to $22 billion in 2013 money, so the percentage increases aren’t quite as dramatic as claimed.

Still, that’s a whole lot of debt.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


Preserving history or grossly overpriced?

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

* SJ-R columnist Dave Bakke heard a persistent rumor that a single door at the newly remodeled Statehouse cost $240,000, so he decided to check it out

I was directed to several offices that might know the answer: the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office or the Illinois comptroller’s office. I eventually checked with all three. […]

While waiting for a reply [from the House Architect], I went on to Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Madigan. He answered my question by saying it couldn’t be answered, not just yet.

“I’m not sure those numbers actually exist,” he said, “because the itemization isn’t available. Suppliers haven’t turned in those numbers yet. When they do, they will be available.”

* Bakke didn’t think that sounded right, and he eventually got to the bottom of it when Capitol Architect Richard Alsop finally responded…

The total for the doors is $669,608. But, technically, it’s six doors, two for each of three doorways on the west end of the Capitol. So it’s more like $223,000 each for three doorways, not three doors. Just the cost of installation is $78,000, which is included in the total.

“We must remember,” Alsop wrote in his email, “that these are custom doors with carvings that do not exist on a shelf at the local home improvement store. Like many other materials in the building, it takes craftsmen to perform the work necessary to give us the desired and appropriate historic fabric.”

Those are also huge doorways.

* While noting that the money comes from a special bond fund for capital projects, Bakke has serious reservations about the cost…

On the other hand, this is a time of high emotion regarding the state budget. State employees are suffering, retirees are probably going to suffer, Illinois institutions are cutting services because the state can’t pay what it owes them, Illinois’ bond rating is in the toilet, and we are regarded as a leading candidate for the most corrupt, financially irresponsible state in the country.

That’s why it seems disrespectful and even arrogant for state governmental leaders to decide at such a time in the state’s history to spend more on one doorway than my entire house is worth.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   55 Comments      


A huge win amid hopes for unity

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

* Rep. Durkin wrapped this up faster than just about anyone figured only a few weeks ago

Durkin said he had 32 votes going into a closed-door caucus. He only needed 24 to win the job.

Poe, conceding his candidacy fell short of support, said he nominated Durkin and declared, like many of his peers emerging from the meeting, that the House GOP troops now are united.

* Durkin was elected by a vote of acclamation

(W)hen Durkin walked out of it the victor — beaming — Poe was by his side. Poe joked that he’s Durkin’s bodyguard; but he had, in a sense, protected him.

When it became clear Poe didn’t have the votes to clinch a win, he not only took his name out of the running, he was the one to nominate Durkin, for a vote by acclimation. “I think the whole message of the day is: we’re coming out of that room as we’re 47 strong,” Poe says. “And Jim’s our new leader and we’re going to elect more representatives and we’re going to elect a Republican governor. And guess what? The things that are important to Republicans, we’re going to be able to carry those out under Jim’s leadership.”

Durkin — still unable to stop smiling — and was equally complimentary of Poe: “Without getting into specifics, Raymond, uh, his point was that we’re a unified party today,” Leader-Elect Durkin says. “We are more unified today than we have been in a long time. And I can thank Raymond for that. We have a lot of … we have a very diverse caucus, but we’re going to use that diversity to our advantage .”

* Easier said than done

Durkin, 52, replaces outgoing caucus leader Tom Cross, who told members last week he is planning to run for treasurer. Cross held the leadership position for a decade, and came under recent fire from members following a loss of seats last November and a caucus campaign fund that stood at $21,030 in June fundraising reports.

“The positive thing that comes out of here today is that it was a unanimous vote,” Durkin said, following his election as leader. “We’re going to use that energy to move forward and win races.”

* And he’s taking a wait and see attitude on pension reform

He wouldn’t endorse any particular proposal Thursday.

“I want to see what the product is first,” Durkin said. “This is one of many extremely important issues this caucus is going to have to discuss.”

* Rep. Durkin represents half of Senate Republican Christine Radogno’s district, and her public statement was laudatory…

“I have offered my congratulations to Rep. Durkin. I look forward to continuing our work together. We have proven to be an effective team for our constituents. Jim is thoughtful, pragmatic and extremely well versed in the issues of importance to Illinois citizens. I know he is particularly interested in working together with our Caucus to improve the state’s fiscal condition and jobs climate. He shares my view that a comprehensive solution to our pension crisis is critical to those efforts. I congratulate the House Republican Caucus on their choice and warmly welcome Jim.”

* The technicalities

There’s no set deadline for when [Leader Cross will] step down, though the transition is expected to take a few weeks. Even then, the full House will have to take a formal vote when it next convenes in order to make it official. As that happens, Durkin will take on the perks of leadership: higher pay, extra staff, a bigger office

* The first real bright spot for Kirk Dillard in a while

In next year’s governor primary, Durkin backs Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican who lost the 2010 primary by 193 votes.

Discuss.

…Adding… This was my advice to Durkin in comments yesterday

First, heal the wounds. Cross’ search for another office has opened up some deep divisions in your caucus. Those divisions need to be repaired.

No need for retaliation. You won a majority in a matter of a few days and balloting lasted less than an hour. It’s obvious you have the support of a majority, so throw a bone or two to some folks in the opposition.

You have some good, dedicated staffers, but some new blood is absolutely necessary, at the top and at the bottom. Prune the tree carefully, but do prune it.

Before this election, you had a reputation among some members as being aloof and a bit of a jerk. You overcame that today. Don’t go back to that behavior. Keep an open mind and an open door. You don’t have to agree with a member, but be respectful.

Your caucus is obviously deeply split on the pension issue. Urge compromise. Don’t be bullied by Ty Fahner or the Tribune.

Speaking of Fahner, he’s toxic. Put some distance between him and you.

And speaking of the Trib, try to understand that getting a favorable Tribune editorial is the end, not a means. That paper’s influence is declining rapidly.

Remember that if you want any sort of Republican stamp on a bill, you have to work with the majority. Those who want to boycott and abdicate shouldn’t be listened to. Obviously, capitulation is out of the question, but be firm with Madigan and develop a close relationship with Cullerton, which can help you in your dealings with His Royal Highness (something that Cross never understood, but Daniels did with Rock).

Work harder than you ever have and expect the same from your leaders and your staff.

And, whatever you do, never put bananas in the refrigerator.

…Adding More… Video of the post-game press conference

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      


Raoul mulls endorsement

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

* The Tribune’s Rick Pearson got a few moments with Sen. Kwame Raoul last night

Quinn, seeking a second elected term as governor after replacing the impeached and imprisoned Rod Blagojevich in 2009, traditionally has gotten his strongest support from African-American voters, though Daley maintains that backing is flagging.

Raoul, in an interview with the Tribune outside a downtown fundraising event, said he was not backing either Quinn or Daley but imagines he’ll eventually make an endorsement. “Just right now, I want to turn off (the politics) and focus on getting this job done,” he said.

“This job” refers to his role as chairman of a special legislative conference committee charged with recommending a plan to resolve the state’s $100 billion government worker pension debt. He said negotiators, who met again Thursday, are moving forward and that “it’s a very critical time” in efforts to come up with a plan.

As most of you observed yesterday, Raoul’s statement announcing he wouldn’t run for governor was a classy move.

The guy looks like he has a real future, but the stars don’t always line up as well as they seemed to be this time around. Maybe Lisa Madigan figures that her only way up the ladder is a 2016 US Senate bid, since she says she can’t run for governor as long as her father is the House Speaker. Lots of things can happen.

Whom should he endorse, if anyone?

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

* Mike Riopell talked to former Congressman Joe Walsh, who says he may run for US Senate

“I’m still considering a run in 2014,” said Walsh, now a WIND-AM talk show host who hinted at a run for governor days after his 2012 loss.

The McHenry Tea Party favorite says he’s keeping his options open, but the only race he named Thursday was U.S. Senate.

“It’s probably the race that I’m most seriously considering,” Walsh said, adding he’ll decide within a month.

Three’s a crowd?

So far, Republicans Doug Truax of Downers Grove and Chad Koppie of Gilberts have talked about a 2014 bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield.

Truax has been a fairly active candidate so far and is in the race “no matter who enters the Republican primary,” said his spokesman, Dan Curry.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Caption contest!

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

* We’ll have more on Rep. Jim Durkin’s election as House GOP Leader later this morning. For now, let’s welcome him to the fray with a caption contest…

Yesterday’s winner was Oswego Willy for a multitude of hilarious comments.

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


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Friday, Aug 30, 2013

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Raoul out of the running

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* From a press release…

First, I want to convey my deep and lasting appreciation to the men and women, from communities throughout the state, who have expressed confidence in my ability to lead Illinois as its next chief executive. I am inspired by their determination to improve life for all our residents, and I am humbled by their desire to work with me to achieve that goal.

After careful consideration, I have decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014.

I did not take lightly the calls for me to join this race and provide voters with another option. In making my decision, I talked with my family and considered the timing of this potential step. I evaluated my existing and pledged resources and considered whether they would be adequate to communicate not only my record of service, but my vision for this great state. I took into account my sincere desire not to create unnecessary divisions, given the commitments that have been made.

I also considered my current role as chair of the pension reform conference committee. The office of the governor is a key position of leadership. In deciding not to seek that position, I acknowledge the pivotal leadership role that is mine today and that I must carry out to best of my abilities until the job is done.

While I will not be a candidate for governor in 2014, I pledge to do my part in this pivotal election to ensure that all who seek to be Illinois’ next governor hear the voices of people and communities who have been ignored or marginalized. To be their advocate will be a high honor, a worthy calling and a responsibility sufficient for this day.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* Your advice for new House Republican Leader Jim Durkin?

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


This just in…

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* 1:37 pm - I’m told that Rep. Jim Durkin was just elected House GOP Leader.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Dillard’s not so secret secret

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* Pretty much everybody knows that Sen. Kirk Dillard will choose Rep. Jil Tracy as his running mate, so Sen. Dillard didn’t even try too hard to hide it this week

“Let me tell you without divulging secrets, the people of Southern Illinois will be extremely pleased with who my running mate is,” Dillard said. “It is rumored out there that it is somebody who grew up in deep Southern Illinois and might even be a double SIU Saluki graduate.”

Dillard also dropped a hint that it was a woman. […]

State Representative Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) has been widely rumored to be Dillard’s choice for Lt. Governor. She was born in Carbondale, Illinois and lived in Anna. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree. She has been in the State House since 2006.

Tracy said earlier this week an announcement would be made next week and Dillard says he’ll make his official announcement in southern Illinois sometime after the holiday.

Thoughts on Tracy?

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


The importance of party backing, or lack thereof

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* Years ago, I asked House Speaker Michael Madigan how his precinct captains were able to get majorities for all of his ward’s Democratic candidates in 1984, when Ronald Reagan won the 13th Ward.

Madigan said his captains were ordered to not talk to people about the presidential race. Voters, he said, like to make up their own minds about top of the ticket contests, so it’s best not to ever argue with them.

The race for governor is pretty much the same. A captain who gets into a long discussion at the doors over the governor’s race is not gonna be able to convince those voters to go along with the ward’s choices for judge, or some other obscure elected office.

That being said, in some wards, townships and suburban and Downstate counties, party leaders can have an impact. The late John Gianulis of Rock Island County was one of those guys. There are a few others.

Mostly, though, the party structure just isn’t all that effective. I remember when Dan Reitz ran his first election for the House. Local county chairmen actually complained that Reitz was walking too many precincts. Clueless much?

* The bottom line here is that Gov. Quinn’s slating by the Cook County Democrats will have some impact, but only in certain wards and with certain types. Same goes for his support by the vast majority of Downstate and suburban chairmen and chairwomen.

In a close race, that backing might prove crucial. But slating for top offices is a bit overrated, so I tend to at least somewhat agree with Bill Daley here

While father Richard J. Daley perfected a political machine and controlled the slate-making process, the son opted to forgo seeking the endorsement of Cook County Democratic leaders this month and viewed it as a foregone conclusion that it would go to Quinn as the sitting governor.

Quinn’s strong reception at the annual downstate Democratic county chairmen’s State Fair breakfast two weeks ago also is viewed by Daley as a show of thanks from job-dependent political leaders.

“The path to victory is not on paper with committeemen. It’s getting out there,” Daley said.

“This race in January, February or March is going to get all the publicity in the world. This is the big race,” he said. “If I am able to raise the money I need to raise, they’ll see plenty of messaging from me. That’s where voters for the big races get their information. They don’t get it from the precinct captain ringing the doorbell in Eddie Burke’s ward.”

Again, in a close race, it might turn out to be crucial. Maybe. It just depends on the reaction the captains and committeemen get at the doors, if they even walk precincts.

Daley needs to figure out how to crush Quinn, and all the door-knocking in the world won’t turn those votes around. It’ll be all about the paid media.

And, by the way, I’m still not convinced that Daley can actually turn those votes around. The path just isn’t all that clear to me.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Attempting to define the beginning

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* For some reason, reporters lately have been trying to pinpoint when Campaign 2014 began for Gov. Quinn. From earlier this week

The busy chief executive of the nation’s fifth-largest state probably wouldn’t be expected to set aside time to attend an initial hearing in a lawsuit filed against him, but there was Gov. Pat Quinn on the 23rd floor of the Daley Center.

The Democratic governor had made what lawmakers contended was a constitutionally dubious move to take away their paychecks until they send him a pension reform bill. While not much was decided in court that day, the scene allowed a confident Quinn to flick the switch on his populist persona as the glare from a phalanx of TV camera lights shone on him.

“You don’t get paid if you don’t do your job,” the governor declared as though he already had won the lawsuit.

The moment this month marked the unofficial launch of Quinn’s re-election effort.

That was the moment? Really? How about when he vetoed the salaries in the first place? Or how about his splashy press conference accompanying his amendatory veto of the concealed carry bill?

* The AP tries to define the start as being today

The 2014 race for Illinois governor has entered a new phase with Gov. Pat Quinn taking time out of a work day to accept a union endorsement.

The Chicago Democrat has kept campaigning low-key so far with events such as speeches at churches and small fundraisers.

But on Thursday he stopped by the Chicago International Produce Market to pick up a re-election nod from Teamsters Joint Council 25.

The labor union endorsed him four years ago around the same time. Quinn was a member during college from 1969 to 1971.

He’s kept his campaigning low key?

This is a silly news hook.

No matter what they say, incumbents who want to run for reelection are always, in one way or another, in campaign mode.

…Adding… A good point from a commenter…

Don’t blame the reporters. Trust me, these stories are the concoction of thumb-sucking editors trying to prove they’re worth their considerable salaries.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Get it together, man

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* Last fiscal year, the Quinn administration approved more than $135 million in no-bid emergency purchases. That’s a new record.

Some of it is understandable

Sometimes, however, an unexpected need arises. Recently, for example, the Illinois State Police and other agencies had to scramble to purchase goods and services to help implement the state’s new concealed weapons law. They also may have to declare an emergency if, for example, a tornado damages the roof of a prison.

But some of it clearly ain’t

The Illinois Department of Corrections, for example, recently had to make a no-bid emergency purchase of $15,000 for hot dog seasoning to be used at the Menard Correctional Center meat shop.

The reason: The prior contract for wiener spices had expired and a new contract wasn’t yet in place.

This is a laughable explanation

Matt Brown, the state’s chief procurement officer, acknowledged a lack of manpower in some agencies might be playing a role. But, he said ensuring that contracts don’t expire without a new contract in place is a matter of good planning.

Oh, c’mon.

A “matter of good planning” would be to make sure that basic state contracts don’t have to be let on an emergency, no-bid basis.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Defining the party down the drain

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* The Tribune editorializes against electing Rep. Raymond Poe as House Republican Leader

In recent years, Poe has voted against several signature cost-cutting initiatives that would reduce the size of state government and the demands on taxpayers. He voted against every pension reform bill that came to the House floor this year — there were at least four. He voted against closing half-empty state buildings. He voted to protect free health insurance coverage for state retirees, an enormous cost. He voted against giving public school children in Chicago the freedom to choose their schools.

If you want to know where he stands on issues, ask the lobbyists for teacher and state employee unions. Poe has accepted more than $100,000 in union money for his campaigns during his tenure in Springfield. Sure, he represents a district with many public employees. But based on his fiscal voting record, he might as well move his desk to the Democrats’ side of the chamber.

* The paper’s political cartoonist piles on…

Poe represents his district and he does it well. To suggest that somehow makes him a Democrat is as ludicrous as calling his chief rival Rep. Jim Durkin a Democrat because he has voted with the trial lawyers in the past.

* On the other hand, as mentioned yesterday, the social conservatives believe that Rep. Jim Durkin is far too liberal to be the GOP Leader

Illinois is in desperate need of leadership that is both principled and courageous. Every day/week/month/year that passes without such leadership results in the degrading progression of conditions that we’ve seen over the past many years. Without moral and enlightened leaders our state’s continued decline is guaranteed. Rep. Jim Durkin possesses neither the wisdom nor skills necessary to provide the kind of bold political leadership families across our state are demanding. […]

As with anyone who has held public office as long as Durkin has there are many questionable, even disappointing, votes. For example, Durkin has voted for tax increases and a massive expansion of gambling and against virtual schools.

The problem with the Republican Party is that too many of its factions believe they possess the sole authority to declare who is and who is not a “true” party member. That wrong-headed thinking has resulted in a long string of losses in this state.

Ray Poe is a Republican.

Jim Durkin is a Republican.

That should go without saying.

Sheesh.

- Posted by Rich Miller   99 Comments      


Caption contest!

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013

* From the Du Quoin Evening Call

Jason Plummer (left), who says he has no interest in running for office again, is pictured at left with DuPage County auditor Bob Grogan in downtown Du Quoin during their visit on Thursday.

So, he’s moving into a kingmaker role?

Um, I don’t think Plummer will have much more success with Grogan than he did with his own campaigns. Just sayin’.

The photo…

- Posted by Rich Miller   88 Comments      


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        * Does Pat Quinn Have a Personal Life? - Chicagom.....
        * Cousin Pookie is back! And yes, he is still sit.....
        * Chicago Sun-Times' Bruce Rauner endorsement sud.....
        * Storm brewing over Chicago Sun-Times' sudden en.....
        * Gubernatorial Shakeups Loom Amid Elections..
        * U of Illinois sees turning point as election nears..
        * New Poll Suggests Independent Voters Will Decid.....


        * Indiana man's confession leads to 7 bodies
        * Obama casts his vote early in Chicago
        * Mayor says suspect in 7 deaths is sex offender
        * Former county treasurer gets 4 years in theft case
        * $1M bond for Peoria woman accused of stabbing man
        * Next Illinois governor debate: Things to Watch
        * Mississippi River bridge closed until Friday
        * U of Illinois sees turning point as election nears
        * Central Illinois teens to serve as election judges
        * Waukegan teachers strike goes into 3rd week

        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Sun-Times, Belleville, Champaign, Peoria newspapers endorse Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally
        * Body camera use concerns Illinois police officers
        * Illinois unemployment rate falls again, to 6.6 percent
        * Panel to look at body cameras in eavesdropping law discussion
        * Phil Luciano: Company paying surrounding counties to support Logan Co. marijuana growing center
        * Parties donate big to area legislative races

        * Sears leasing big chunk of store space to clothing chain
        * Railroads scrap merger talks
        * How this exec hopes to strike it rich in water, again
        * Two local businesses profit from a jump in skydiving
        * Emanuel, Preckwinkle clash over mandatory minimums


        * Convicted sex offender in custody after 7 bodies found in NW Indiana
        * Dr. Lawrence Solomon: Renowned dermatologist, book collector loved a mystery
        * Time to get ahead of Ebola
        * $500K bail for woman charged with fatally stabbing boyfriend
        * Scholar’s take on bishops’ synod: ‘Amazing days if you’re a Catholic’
        * In Denver, ‘budtenders’ sell legal pot to clients
        * Obama asks Dems at South Side rally to vote for Gov. Quinn
        * Editorial: Bruce Rauner for governor
        * Sneed: City Treasurer Stephanie Neely is pulling the plug on her job
        * Editorial: Why we are back in the endorsement business


        * Convicted sex offender identified as suspect in deaths of 7 women
        * City Treasurer Neely stepping down
        * 14 injured in Dan Ryan crash involving school bus
        * Obama to cast ballot as early voting begins
        * Wonder Lake man dead in Bull Valley crash
        * As CSO lands in Warsaw, a 20-year wait ends
        * 2 killed when vehicle hits police car, slams into building
        * Chicago cop's suicide tied to stress over lawsuit
        * Heroin fight a hot topic in DuPage sheriff's race


        * UIS Poverty Series Continues With "American Winter" Screening
        * Third & Final Governor Debate Tonight
        * Politicians On Parade
        * Are Computer Keyboards Killing Cursive?
        * Earlier Than Ever
        * Listen to State Week - October 17, 2014
        * The health problems facing rural and urban poor in Illinois
        * 'Deliverance' Actor Plays Folk Music In Springfield
        * Are Chicago's shorter yellow lights unsafe, or just unfair?
        * Delay In Fracking Regulations Spurs Lawsuit


        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears
        * Our Opinion: Re-elect Durbin for another term in U.S. Senate
        * Bill Press: Do you trust your government on Ebola?
        * Quote of the Day: Monday, Oct. 20, 2014
        * Our Opinion: Rodney Davis has earned another term
        * Bernard Schoenburg: CWLP’S Burns considers run for city treasurer
        * Rep. Mike Smiddy: Improving care for those fighting breast cancer
        * Deckle McLean: Party imbalance falls along urban, rural lines
        * Statehouse Insider: Does he wish he hasn’t asked that?


        * Monday Oct. 20 government meetings
        * 10-20-14 Monday Morning Quarterbacks
        * Milan issues boil-water advisory
        * Sunny with a high near 63 degrees this afternoon
        * Self, Weber to attend McClain memorial
        * Central Illinois Business 10-18-2014
        * Boil order issued for Murphysboro
        * Early voting begins in Illinois on Monday
        * Tickets for 12th Congressional District still available today
        * 20 seats on county boards up for grabs in St. Clair, Madison counties


        * Berlin rejects DuPage clerk candidate's request for investigation
        * 22-year-old Wonder Lake man dies in Bull Valley crash
        * Oscar Pistorius to finally learn his sentence
        * Boston bomb case judge wants 1,000 juror summonses
        * Indiana man's confession leads to discovery of 7 bodies

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Immigration Reform Update: Senate Democrat......
        * Immigration Reform Update: Senate Democrat......
        * Menendez Joins Senate Democrats to Press D......
        * Menendez Joins Senate Democrats to Press D......
        * Menendez Joins Senate Democrats to Press D......

        * Obama to Bypass Congress on Easing of Iran......
        * Kirk Challenges Local Entrepreneurs to Mak......

        * Schilling: Stop Commercial Flights Into and Out of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea
        * Need money to grow cannabis? New financier enters Illinois market
        * I Fight Surveillance
        * SportsMonday: Brandon Marshall Is Unacceptable
        * Ed Gillespie and Jim Oberweis: Victims of "Ratchet Republicans"
        * Police Admit to Roving Gangs Randomly Beating People in Champaign Urbana
        * Northern Illinois Patriots Feature Lake Co. Candidates Sheri Jesiel, Carla Wyckoff
        * ICJL releases rating of judges in Central Illinois
        * Poll: 64% Say Things In America Are Completely ‘Out of Control’
        * DePaul University Testing 'Queer Peers' Mentorship Program


        * What They’re Saying About Pat Quinn
        * What They’re Saying About Bruce Rauner
        * Rauner Sweeping Endorsements Across Illinois
        * Belleville News-Democrat Endorses Rauner
        * Champaign News-Gazette Endorses Rauner




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